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Te Anau to Queenstown – What to Do, Where to Stay, What to see…

This is a post with all the things to do and see on the way from Te Anau to Queenstown. Having stayed 2 says in the comfort of the Te Anau lodge we were next headed to Queenstown. On the way from Te Anau to Queenstown we knew we would have limited time. We were only to spend one night in Queenstown so timing was key. The drive from Te Anau to Queenstown is an amazing drive so leave some time for stopping to admire the view. The small town of Kingston is an ideal stopping point – set on the banks of Lake Wakatipu ; it makes for a great excuse to stretch the legs and take some photos. There is a train there but when we were there the train was not in operation.

Where to Stay in Queenstown

Having done the beautiful drive from Te Anau to Queenstown it was time to relax. We stayed at the Distinction Nugget Point Boutique Hotel & Spa about 10 minutes drive outside of Queenstown (Booked on iPhone app which is a handy app to download). The hotel wasn’t overly full as it was heading towards low season, but it was very nice, with antique furnishings. The Spa is very good and has a large pool. The highlight was the view from the room, an amazing vista overlooking a canyon. At night you can see the milky way extend between the peaks of the two hills, and due to the lack of light pollution this view around 2 or 3am is worth getting up for. There are plenty of hotels and hostels in the town which might be more to your liking if you are after some nightlife or if you are with a group as it takes about 10 minutes to get in from Nugget Point.

What to See in Queenstown

Queenstown has a lot to offer, as it is a very scenic place on the banks of Lake Wakatipu. The quay side or lake side is very picturesque and worth taking some time to walk around. There are also many cafes around there so you can enjoy a snack also.
Queenstown, Lakefront

Queenstown, The Lakefront

When you arrive in Queenstown, one of the first things you will see is the cable cars heading up to the Skyline complex. If you are approaching from Arthurs Point direction the Skyline complex actually looks like a UFO in the dark as there are no surrounding lights and looks quite cool just perched in isolation on the peak of the hill. Accessed by scenic gondola or cable car the Skyline Queenstown is the “Must See” attraction during any visit to Queenstown. You will get stunning views of the spectacular lakes, Coronet Peak, and The Remarkables mountain range. You can also eat while taking in the view at the Skyline Restaurant, recently voted the restaurant with the best view by Trip Advisor. More Casual dining is available in the Skyline Cafe. While you are up there if you want you can take in the Skyline Luge which has you hurtling down the winding downhill Luge track. If you are feeling more adventurous you can try a tandem parapente flight. If you are feeling less adventurous you can simply shop in the Skyline Souvenir Gift Shop. Don’t forget to bring your camera if you are visiting the Queenstown Skyline Observation deck as the views are not to be missed.
View from the Viewing point in Queenstown, New Zealand

View from the Viewing point in Queenstown, New Zealand

Other areas around Queenstown

Before leaving Queenstown, you have to visit Arrowtown. Arrowtown is a lovely little town, almost like a frontier town from the old west. Not to be missed, stunning in Autumn. Queenstown is a very nice town, ideal for extreme sports if you are into that. Probably worth spending more than one day here but its a place I would certainly go back to. Finally, one hour out side Queenstown on the way to Fox Glacier you will find Puzzling World which is an amazing series of visual tricks of the mind which will leave you confused. If you want something to puzzle your world then visit Puzzling World in Wanaka. If you have any questions about the drive from Te Anau to Queenstown or the things to do or see please leave a comment.